Europe / World

INRAE is the world's number one institute for research on agriculture, food, and the environment, three overlapping themes of major importance. Because of its leadership position, the institute can help find the solutions that we need as we face this century's global challenges, namely climate change, food security, and the loss of biodiversity. By encouraging the exchange of knowledge and innovation, INRAE can guide the agroecological, dietary, and energy transitions that we must make. With leadership comes responsibility. INRAE must actively build and reinforce European and international partnerships to enhance data acquisition and sharing. Indeed, the challenges that we will face between now and 2050 are greater than any one country can manage alone.

Our assets

Scientific excellence and expertise

INRAE researchers are known for their high-quality work and extensive expertise. They have made remarkable discoveries in many different fields, including plant biology, animal biology, animal health, human health, nutrition, and the environmental sciences.

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Innovations and impacts

On average, 15 years between research and its impact

INRAE is a targeted research institution which has a range of responsibilities, carries out a diversity of activities, and produces results with strong societal impacts. The institute has developed a novel approach to examine the emergence of societal impacts that focuses on five dimensions: the economy, the environment, public policy and regulations, social issues, and health. This approach, called ASIRPA (which, in French, stands for analysis of the impacts of publicly funded agricultural research) was used to evaluate about 60 case studies of innovation development, and the results show that the societal impacts of agricultural research show up 15–20 years later. Check out the ASIRPA website.

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Open research infrastructure

INRAE has 14 research infrastructures (RIs) and an e-infrastructure that is under development. From observatories to biological resource centres, technological platforms and more, these infrastructures offer scientific communities access to data production and management, technological development, training and innovation. Disseminating data and making it openly available are vital requirements for all of INRAE’s initiatives in order to support Open Science.

These RIs, to which INRAE allocates a third of its overall annual budget and nearly 1,800 full-time equivalent positions, reflect INRAE’s key research areas. They participate in various programmes in cooperation with other RIs or within national and European RIs.

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Source of international scientific expertise and support for public policies

As an institution, INRAE has developed collective scientific expertise and foresight tools that can help tackle national and international challenges. INRAE has also put its expertise to work for multilateral institutions, such as the FAO and the World Bank, and intergovernmental groups, such as the IPCC and the IPBES. Other international contributions include the scientific conferences and symposia that the institute organises to coincide with negotiations focused on food security and the climate. In the context of water resources and management of natural risks, INRAE has an international reputation as the result of the work it has done for the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD), the European Geosciences Union (EGU), and the International Geosynthetics Society.

Roles, impacts and services provided by European livestock production


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Key figures


(Clarivate Analytics, analysis period: 2009–2019)

4th in agricultural sciences

4th in plant and animal sciences
10th in ecology and the environmental sciences

Within the realm of European research

(date of data: 2019)

4th French research institutions based on Horizon 2020 funding

200 projects submitted per year, over 40 are funded

30% of INRAE researchers are involved in European projects 


(date of data: 2019)

10% of foreign researchers

30% of PhD students come from a country other than France



Our strategy

INRAE research contributes to several of the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) that are part of the 2030 Agenda adopted by the United Nations (UN) in 2015 in New York, including “Responsible Consumption and Production", "Clean Water and Sanitation", and "Climate Action".  The 244 SGD indicators adopted by the UN in 2016 can be used to monitor progress towards these objectives.

Because the institute uses an integrated approach to study agriculture, food, and the environment, it can help propose solutions that will contribute to progress towards several of the SGDs. For example, the agroecological transition or the transition towards healthy sustainable diets involves solutions with multiple benefits for global food security, water resources, soils, and the climate.

INRAE is also developing collaborations with other European and international partners. The support that institutes in the European Union provide to international collaborators creates synergies between Europe and the rest of the world.

Welcoming researchers and students